Coming Soon To Alexa: A Memory

Amazon’s Alexa, its voice-activated digital assistant, is getting a memory, which means she’ll be able to remember information that humans often forget.

In a blog post ahead of a keynote talk at the World Wide Web Conference in Lyon, France, Ruhi Sarikaya, director of applied science, Alexa Machine Learning, said that coming soon to the U.S., Amazon will equip the virtual assistant with a new memory feature, through which Alexa will be able to remember any information and store it so users can retrieve it later.

“This memory feature is the first of many launches this year that will make Alexa more personalized,” said the Amazon executive in the blog post. “It’s early days, but with this initial release, we will make it easier for customers to save information, as well as provide a natural way to recall that information later.”

In another Alexa enhancement coming to the U.S., users will soon be able to use natural phrases and requests to discover, enable and launch Alexa skills. For example, a customer using an Amazon Show can ask Alexa, “How do I remove an oil stain from my shirt?” and get an answer in a friction-free manner. Sarikaya noted that when he asked Alexa for stain-removing advice, the virtual assistant replied: “Here is Tide Stain Remover.” He noted the beta test resulted in no issues with the skill walking him through the process of removing the oil stain.

In the past, he would have had to discover the skill on his own to use it. “This is just one example, but it gives you a sense for how this capability will provide customers frictionless direct access to, and interaction with, third-party skills. We’re excited about what we’ve learned from our early beta users and will gradually make this capability available to more skills and customers in the U.S.,” Sarikaya said in the post.


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